Football in general is another area of our lives where women are scarce. It is estimated that around 30,000 female footballers – less than 7% of registered players – play in Poland. They compete in the Ekstraliga, I, II, III, and IV and in the Polish Cup. Sixteen national teams are currently taking part in the European Women’s Football Championship in England, which is being held from 6th to 31st July. Polish women are not among them. It is also likely that our women’s team will not play in the 2023 World Cup. The last two qualifying matches will take place in September this year, but the chances of qualifying are slim. This does not mean that our country lacks talent, it’s just necessary to find it and create the right conditions for its development.
At the beginning of the cooperation between Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland and Klub Kuźnia (now KS Jaworzanka 1946 Jawor), there were hardly any girls, in fact, there was only one – Zosia.
– We decided that it wasn’t fair, because we have inclusivity written into our strategy, and that if we, as Mercedes, were to support the club, then this had to change – says Ewa Łabno-Falęcka from Mercedes – We started encouraging the club’s authorities to promote the game of football among girls as well – she ads.
Today, the first women’s football team operates in Jawor. The players proudly wear the Mercedes star on their jerseys and on their training kits.
– The world is seeing a “boom” in women’s football, but it is going much more slowly in Poland. The club’s task is to create development opportunities for girls and this is what we are doing – says Radosław Zysnarski, president of KS Jaworzanka.- We teach the rest at our meetings. With time you acquire skills. Who knows, maybe in the future we will see one of the girls at the Women’s European or World Cup Championships – he ads.
The coach of the women’s football section at KS Jaworzanka 1946 Jawor is Izabela Wolak. In the past, she was a player at Luks Ecoren Ziemia Lubińska, a club that won promotion to the Second Division Women’s League at the time, and after being taken over by Zagłębie Lubin to the First Division Women’s League. For the past 3 years, she has been leading the boys’ team in the Żak category of the club Jaworzanka 1946 Jawor, in which tournaments are held, and since 2021 also in the female section.
– The girls used to turn up individually at the boys’ training sessions. I remember playing with the boys myself at the beginning of my sporting career. I know it is possible, but it is not easy. However, the boys are physically stronger and as time goes by this is more and more noticeable and depresses the girls. That’s why we decided together with the president of Jaworzanka, with the support of the Mercedes factory, to create a female team – says Izabela Wolak, coach of the girls’ section of KS Jaworzanka.
At KS Jaworzanka, 20 girls aged 6-13 have already been fulfilling their football dreams for a year. They are training intensively and are already achieving their first successes.
– In May we took part in the “From the backyard to the stadium for the Tymbark Cup” tournament. I was glad that I could finally feel the atmosphere of the competition. I was nervous because we were playing matches at the provincial level. We took third place. Unfortunately, we did not manage to advance further, but we will train – says Aleksandra Wójcik, a player of KS Jaworzanka.
Recruitment to the women’s section is not subject to rigid dates. Details can be obtained from the coach directly during classes. The first 2-3 weeks is the time for new players to acclimatize, after which the parents fill in a membership declaration. The club trains children from 5-6 years old; who start their football adventure at regional levels, up to juniors aged 16-17.
KS Jaworzanka’s plans include playing girls in a league appropriate to their age. So that in a few years the players will be known and valued not only in Jawor.